Competing through operations and supply: the role of classic and extended resource-based advantage

Michael A Lewis, Alistair Brandon-Jones, N Slack, Mickey Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (SciVal)


Purpose - The paper seeks to analyze the evolution of competitive advantage using both "classic" and "extended' resource based theory (RBT) The aim is to examine the different ways in which classic" and extended resource based advantage develops and how they might combine to create long term advantage

Design/methodology/approach - A single case study method is used to examine the process by which competitive advantage has accumulated over a 50 year period at Food Services Group Inc a highly successful food service company based on the West Coast of the USA with an annual growth rate currently running at 10 percent

Findings - Preliminary conclusions suggest support for the sequential iterative, and slow cycle development model associated with proprietary bounded resources and the strategic resource rigidity paradox The work also highlights preliminary evidence for a faster cycle development process possible with inter firm resources associated with extended resource based theory (ERBT) and, long run sustainable advantage requiring synchronization and integration of both bounded and relational resources

Originality/value - This is the first rich empirical study of the way competitive advantage evolves using both RBT and ERBT The research provides insights into how organizations can combine both classic and extended resources in seeking to establish competitive advantage It illustrates how unbounded external resources such as the role of suppliers engaged in new product development, can create an initial advantage for firms who then build on this by investing in bounded resources such as specific skills within their organization

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1032-1058
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Operations & Production Management
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • food service
  • competitive advantage
  • United States of America
  • resource efficiency
  • resource management


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